The stroller looked out of place. It sat alone outside a café, unattended. Perhaps the owner had taken their young baby in on this chilly day.
Inside, a woman rocked side to side with impatience, willing the workers to fulfill her order with lightning speed. She was also nervous, constantly tugging up the top of her fully zipped jacket to ensure that it covered her nose as well as her mouth. With her shoulders in a permanent shrug, she managed to keep her makeshift face-covering in place. Enough so that she wasn’t asked to leave the café.
As I exited the building, I looked in the direction of the isolated stroller. The nervous woman from inside was the one now tending to this stroller. Turns out that a baby was in there the entire time. For whatever reason, she took the risk to leave her child outside while she went in.
The numerous potentials for danger quickly flooded my mind. All it takes is a split second for disaster to strike, even unaware and unintentionally. Before they could take root, I switched gears.
Before I because consumed with the negative thoughts, I switched gears.
I prayed for her.
Because I didn’t know.
Complete strangers, both the woman and the child were unknown to me. I didn’t know her story or what she’d been through that day. The way she thinks, what her beliefs are, how she parents are all mysteries to me. Is she even the mother or perhaps a caregiver? Does she have help? Is anyone praying for her?
I just didn’t know.
Though she was unknown to me, she is fully known by God.
He has the answers to all my questions about this woman. I thanked Him for protecting this precious baby and for keeping the child warm and safe. And I prayed for the woman.
We’re living in a time where people make decisions that seem preposterous to us, though we don’t know the full scope of their situation. When we don’t walk in someone else’s shoes, we’re tempted to judge them faster than we’re tempted to simply love them. Rather than letting our imaginations go too far, we can try taking the best action step – prayer.
Pray for people, even strangers.
Though we don’t know, God does.
by Sabrina Jacques-Rowe
Communications Director, Henderson Highway Church